Letter From The Editor

December 29th, 2009 - filed under: The Farm » Family


Hello my Dears,

It’s good to be back, and I apologize for being gone so long. I hadn’t intended such an extended stay away, but sometimes life is unpredictable like that, you know? I hope you all had a magnificent holiday season, whatever it may have entailed.

Damian and I had lovely holidays (we celebrate Chanukah, Solstice, and Christmas, with various people) but it was not what we’d imagined. We had planned a long trip back to our home town – a whirlwind of visits and celebrations and merry making – but we ended up camped out on our big red couch instead.


On December 15th, at exactly 28 weeks pregnant, I began exhibiting some strange symptoms. Damian and I called the midwives and they had us come in immediately. After a day and a half of ultra-sounding, fetal monitoring, peeing into cups, bleeding into tubes, poking, prodding, and stirrup riding, I was told that I was exhibiting strong signs of potential preterm labor. I was put on complete bed rest, transfered to the care of an OB, and our holiday homecoming was canceled.

It was very frightening and I needed to take some time away from everything. Being such a logician, it was difficult for me to accept the answer, “We don’t know why.” I’m at risk for preterm labor because my cervix is too short, but why is my cervix too short!? No one knows. Apparently, very little is understood about preterm labor.

[ Just in case you were wondering (and I'm surprised how many have), this has nothing to do with veganism. And even though I knew that, I asked my doctor about it. He laughed in my face. Seriously. So yeah, this is not about diet. At all. ]


For the past week and a half we’ve been living a different life. I’ve had to quell my Hyper Productivity Disorder™ in a major way, and Damian’s had to pick up all my slack around the house. He has blown my mind with his support and his strength and in the midst of such a fearful situation, I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky.

So we’ve worked out the kinks and life is running somewhat smoothly again. I’m able to work from bed (or couch), but I’m mainly focused on eliminating stress, relaxing, and slowing down. My big internal hurdle of the last year or so has been around reconciling stillness. So, I’ve been joking, perhaps this is my final exam.

Our baby boy is absolutely amazing. He is measuring nice and big, healthy with a strong heartbeat and the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. He flips and kicks all the time, as if to reassure me that everything’s okay.


I feel physically better each day. I’m very optimistic that everything will be okay. My doctor agrees. He is a wonderful man, but when I reach 35 weeks I’ll be thrilled to transfer back to my midwives.

I continue to learn through this. I am humbled and I am grateful. My marriage has been tested and only strengthens; Damian and I are such an exquisite team. I almost can’t wait to begin this family of ours, but really . . . I can wait. At least another 8 weeks or so. =)


Lots of Love to all of you, and thank you for your support and your patience.
*** All photos of me were taken at 29 weeks 2 days, by Damian Rebhal ***

  • Tenise Rae

    Let me be the first to say WAAAHOOOO!!! So glad you’re feeling better and everything is okay. You were in my thoughts periodically over the last couple weeks. I can now breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you. Hehe. :D

    And I can’t believe how fast time is flying!! Look at you! So cute with that baby bump! It’s not so little anymore!! Love it!

  • Minna

    This was such a shock to read!

    It is only normal that you took some time off! And none of us suffered from it – your website has loads of archive to read over and over again! :) It’s never boring here.

    I can’t imagine how you must’ve felt, this is such an important time in your life… But. All is good now, as I understand! That’s wonderful. And you have Damian by your side!

    When it comes to hyper productivity, you should just meditate. I do believe it’s the ultimate relaxation, most definitely helps you deal with that nasty disorder (:

    I really wish you all the best, in such a loving family with all that good energy all must go well!

  • Persephonae

    I’m so glad everything’s worked out for you! I greatly enjoy the site and helpful recipes. I’m going to be gradually switching over to a more sustainable lifestyle, which is both incredibly easy since I’m in college, since it’s less expensive, but somewhat hard. But oh well–challenges make everything stronger..

    Best wishes for you, your husband, and your child :)

  • http://www.city-vegan.blogspot.com Crystal

    First I just want to say that I’m glad that everyone is doing ok!! I was getting worried there for a while and was checking each day to see if there was some news.. My nephew was born at 24 weeks and i know how scared you must have been.. but with that wonderful support of your husband you can make it through anything!!! You are a strong woman my dear- i sincerely wish you and your family nothing but the best- and look forward to seeing that little man all healthy and strong.. Take good care <3

  • http://twitter.com/erosan EroSan

    Ah, good to have you back! And even better to know everything is ok! We missed you! (well, at least I did)

    Please pass along my kudos to Damian, for being such a sport. It makes me very happy to hear that you 2 get along that well and that he is so supportive. That is the way it should be.

    Also, on an unrelated note: I just realized the true purpose of this MMM: practice!

    Because when the lil’ one comes along, I bet you’ll skip the huggies and go cloth diapers… and since you’re going to be cleaning a whole lot of them…

    Am I right? am I right? ^_^


  • Nathan

    Glad to have you back, but take all the time you need.
    We’re “sending” support from DC.

  • http://www.creativeanomalie.com sarah

    Yay! THANK YOU for the update… I for one was getting worried since obviously pregnancy problems are the first thing that came to mind during your absence… so good to hear that everything is ok. (As soon as I started reading, I thought, “people are totally going to try and pin this on you being vegan even though it has nothing to do with that” ha!)

    Good luck with the “relaxing” – I COMPLETELY understand how hard that must be as I’m the same way when it comes to sitting still. But, I’m also going to guess that due to the whole “opposites attract” thing, Damian is probably very good at encouraging you to relax (my husband is fantastic at this). And I will second EroSan’s kudos to him for helping you out – go Damian! If only men knew how sexy it is when their wives walk in to a surprise spotless kitchen, whether on bedrest or not.

    Adorable pics! I’m so stoked you did the 3D! Those are so fun to compare with photos after the baby is born. He’s going to be a little stud.

  • http://kpapoulias.blogspot.com/ Kathryn

    Your baby is looking so cute, and he’s still in the womb! I’m super happy and excited that you’re using midwives; one of my best friend’s mother is a midwife and she’s had me converted for a while. :)
    Best of luck and much love for you, your husband, and your little lentil.

    (Have you read http://racheldenbow.blogspot.com/ or http://embers.typepad.com/e/ ? They’re both pretty cute momma blogs about children, crafts, vintage fun, etc. While you’re relaxing, maybe you can take a peek! They’re cute, promise. :] )

  • jen

    Glad to hear everything is ok. I just gave birth to a little boy on December 23rd. He was a week early and when my midwife arrived for our homebirth, she checked me only to discover the little rascal was breech. Off to the hospital! Everything progressed so quickly that we avoided a c-section and he was delivered naturally and we were home by Christmas. I’ve written about my experience here if you are interested. http://is.gd/5EvkB Best wishes for a safe and healthy pregnancy and happy New Year!

  • akeeyu

    I’m glad to hear you’re okay!

    I spent 13 weeks on bed rest due to preterm labor at 23 weeks, so if you need any tips on surviving bed rest, drop me an email.

    A couple of fast ones are this:
    1. If your bed rest is VERY bed resty, consider putting a tiny fridge in your bathroom that Damian can restock every morning. You’ll feel more independant, he’ll feel less put upon, and getting food when you get up to pee will minimize your need to get up.
    2. Look into little hanging pocket organizers that you can tack up on the wall next to your bed/sofa/resting area. I filled mine with notepads, gift cards (I did a lot of shopping online), medications and supplements, lipgloss, salt and pepper (I wasn’t allowed to sit up to eat) and the phone and remote, so I never lost them.
    3. Consider one of those ridiculous looking elastic truss/support belts made for pregnant women. The more weight and strain you can take off your cervix, the better.
    4. Don’t forget to thank Damian every day, even if he doesn’t do the housework to your exacting specifications. Let it slide. For me, it was really hard to watch Sam doing the laundry “wrong,” but after a while, I stopped caring.

  • April

    I am sorry to hear of your struggles,
    but I am relieved that you are on the mend.
    Your bump is absolutely adorable.
    Rest up, little mama :)

  • April


    You have inspired ‘Vegan January’ in our household.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    Thank you so much everyone for al your beautiful comments. I just finished off a banana and a glass of OJ, and now I’m feeling this wiggle worm in my belly, squirming all around enjoying his breakfast. What an amazing feeling. =)

    @ Tenise Rae – Thanks for the thoughts, lady. And yeah – not so little at all! I’ve got a basketball strapped to my middle!

    @ Minna – You are always so positive, thank you so much sweetheart. I am working on my meditation . . .

    @ Persephonae – Thank you! And congrats on beginning the lifestyle changes. It can be difficult but remember, baby steps forward and you can only do as much as you can do. Go easy on yourself and just concentrate on moving forward. Luck!

    @ Crystal – Wow, 24 weeks is so early! That must have been very frightening, I can only imagine. Thanks for the support and I also look forward to seeing our healthy and strong little man! =)

    @ EroSan – I’ll definitely pass along the support to Damian, thank you so much for that. And yes! This MMM is certainly related to the upcoming cloth diapering. Family cloth is something I’ve been interested in for a long time, and this was just a great reason to get started. =)

    @ Nathan – Thank you. It’s good to be back!

    @ sarah – Thanks sweety and I’m sorry if I worried you! Your relationship sounds like Damian and I – we are total counterbalances to each other, which works splendidly. =) And yeah, with the 3d (it’s just the 3d option on the hospital ultrasound – nothing fancy) I’m SO curious to see what he’ll really look like, and how closely it compares. So exciting!

    @ Kathryn – I love my OB and I think he’s the best that I could have asked for, but man I miss the midwives! Thanks for the luck and love, and I’ll definitely check out those web sites. Don’t have much else to do, haha. =D

    @ jen – I’m sorry you had to transfer but that’s really great you were able to avoid a section. I look forward to reading your birth story – thanks for sharing your experience!

    @ akeeyu – Thanks so much for all the tips. And 23 weeks, that must have been so scary! Im glad everything turned out alright for you (and it’s comforting to hear). It sounds like we stock a lot of the same ‘supplies’, but hanging organizers is a great idea. I just have them scattered all over the coffee table – not quite so pretty! And I do try to thank Damian as much as possible – sometimes I feel like a parrot. It’s hard to relinquish control (especially of my kitchen, *tear*), but I take a deep breath and let it all slide. He is doing so much and I am so, so thankful. Thanks again for all the advice – it’s a great help!

    @ April – Thanks lady. Working on the rest. =)
    And that is such great news about vegan January! It’s going to be a fun experiment, feel free to email me if you have any questions or need ideas or anything at all! Good luck!

  • SJ

    That sounds incredibly frightening! I’m so glad you three have come out the other side stronger and healthy! I’m SO excited for you! Good for your sweet husband for being so supportive and helping out so much! I just wish you the best. :-)

  • Deanna

    I love these pictures. I’ve been reading for a few months but I’m not much of a commenter…yet. Anyway, I just had to comment because I really do love these pictures. You look beautiful. I’m crazy about seeing baby-bellies…it’s a beautiful thing. Also, good to hear that the baby is doing well, and that Damian has been so helpful. :)

    (A pretty good first comment, I’d say)

  • Kelly

    So scary! :o( I’m glad you’re ok and you do look fantastic. You’re blessed to have such support – both personally and professionally. Take good care. I’m rootin’ for ya! :o)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ SJ – Thank you. It *was* very frightening, but it’s also been a learning experience. It means so much to have so much support here. So thank you!

    @ Deanna – A great first comment! And hopefully the first of many – welcome. =)

    @ Kelly – Thank you, I truly am incredibly fortunate. Thanks for the support!